"Horror Metal"

By Dr. Abner Mality

It's no secret that the Good Doctor is a horror nut who slavers over everything that shambles forth from the crypt. But that monstermania is not all-encompassing. When I saw the cover to Italian act Cadaveria's "Horror Metal", I kind of cringed and did not expect much from it.

And early on, I was right. The album gets off to an awful start with "Flowers In Fire"...Good God, what a shitty track this is! And it just drags on and on...I can hardly imagine a worse song to start an album with. Things do improve with "Night's Theatre" and "Death Vision", but only to the level of mediocity. Slinky looking Ms. Cadaveria's voice is nothing to get excited about (unlike the vampiric miss herself...I love morbid chicks), either in her more "gruesome" mode or the more ethereal Gothic tones. She's not terrible, just not all that memorable.

However, when song #7 "Apocalypse" comes rolling in, a strange thing happens: the album gets real good. This tune in particular starts with a real meaty, heavy riff, transforms into a funky kind of retro-metal and ends at thrash is consistently entertaining. From there on, the rest of the album keeps your interest up. "The Oracle of The Fog" is a chunky rifferama, "Requiem" is the album's heaviest and approaches true black metal intensity (despite the band's look, they're not really BM at all) and "This Is Not the Silence" ends with the hammering blow of one of the catchiest hooks I've heard all year. One thing I have to say for Cadaveria and her boys, they don't really go the Gothic route...they play real heavy all the way through, with a nice powerful guitar sound.

So "Horror Metal" is a mixed bag. You have to claw through some putrid rot to get to the beating heart of this sinister corpse...